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Is 5 Seconds of Summer the artist to watch at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards?

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It’s been quite a summer for 5 Seconds of Summer. The Australian pop punk boy band hit it big when they joined One Direction on tour this year, and now they’re up for one of the most coveted awards at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.

On Friday, Billboard posted the nominees for the fan-voted Artist To Watch category, revealing that 5SOS is up against newcomers Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Schoolboy Q, and Fifth Harmony for what is considered to be one of the night’s top prizes.

Amy Doyle, MTV executive VP said of the fan fave category: “Based on what I’m seeing, it’s a very, very tight race.”

MTV posted rehearsal footage and photos of 5SOS getting ready for their VMA gig on Saturday. Yes, in addition to their Artist to Watch and Best Lyric nods (for their song “Don’t Stop,” which has them going head to head with Demi Lovato), they’re performing, too.

The powers-that-be at MTV gave the old Best New Artist category a reboot last year and launched the Artist to Watch campaign, which spotlighted 26 up-and-coming acts across the network’s TV, web and social media channels. This year’s original list of Artist to Watch acts -- which included Martin Garrix, Bastille, Jhene Aiko, Rixton, Danny Brown and Echosmith – was whittled down throughout the year.

Last year, pop star Austin Mahone received the first Artist to Watch award at the 2013 VMAs. For this year, fans can continue to vote for the 2014 Artist to Watch through the mid-point point of the VMAs broadcast.

The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards airs live on Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. on MTV.

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